Ireland, ISS and Vietnam–“Curiouser and curiouser”

I had not been following the situation with the ISS report on Vietnamese adoptions until very recently. I simply cannot believe my eyes–Is the Irish government really accepting the voice of an organization that has long been relentlessly hostile towards intercountry adoption as the basis on which it will decide whether to allow adoption from Vietnam to continue?


This represent a glib, facile approach to the problem and a lack of understanding of the careers of at least one of the authors of the report. 

The role of Unicef in intercountry adoption also continues to astound me. There needs to be an outside, independent, impartial body to assess these matters in all their social complexity. I have long argued that Unicef, whatever their other good work in health and nutrition, forfeited its right to claim objectivity in international adoption. The definitive work on this role has yet to be written. Hopefully it soon will be! But in the meantime, could someone please tell the Irish government to do seek out a wider variety of opinions on this? What is really disturbing in children’s rights is that simply invoking “rights” provides the appearance of being Always Right–absolutely not the case here. Have there been problems in Vietnam’s adoption system? Of course! Is the world as presented by ISS and Nigel Cantwell? Absolutely not. THere is a long history of applying the same yardstick to every situation–adoptive parents relentlessly seeking healthy infants, communities ready to raise these children lovingly if only the big bad American agencies would stay out of things. I simply do not accept this simplistic view, and neither should the Irish government.